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<<  -- 2 --  Ron Bierman    HYPNOTIC SURFACES


The brief third movement, shortfall, is the most complex in rhythm and melody. It gives way to stick figure which makes clever and unexpected use of percussion [listen -- track 4, 0:00-1:00]. Little eye concludes the recording in a serious mood. A cello sounds a longer, but still minimalist line. Light harmonic and rhythmic accents are provided by several instruments. Separated, single, suspended-in-time piano notes reminiscent of Morton Feldman are prominent.

Though simple on the surface, this music requires tremendous concentration and attention to detail. Sentieri Selvaggi, the outstanding Italian modern music group for whom two of the movements were written, performs all of them here. Child will intrigue many who are more receptive than I. Some will find its repetitious sounding surfaces hypnotic. Others may enjoy the unusual tonal mixes and the challenge of tracking the music's subtle variations. I'm afraid I'll be opting for something less childlike.

I'll conclude a somewhat churlish review by saying that I admire the goals of Bang on a Can and what I've read of David Lang's approach to revitalizing 'classical' music. He is a most undogmatic composer with a great appreciation of musical history. It's just that I suspect that minimalism, for all its often popular appeal, will someday be considered a quaint dead end, all too related in its intellectual origins to the very non-natural serialism that often seems its direct opposite. Much of its innocence is contrived and the novelty will wear off.

Copyright © 4 June 2003 Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA


David Lang: Child

CA21013 Stereo NEW RELEASE 43'08" 2003 Cantaloupe Music LLC

Sentieri Selvaggi; Carlo Boccadoro, conductor

David Lang: Child - a powerful meditation for seven players on childhood and memory. my very empty mouth; sweet air; short fall; stick figure; little eye




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